Updated Jan 24, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Lawyer alleges Giuliani associate recorded Trump comments on Ukrainian ambassador

President Trump

Photo: Oliver Contreras/For The Washington Post via Getty Images

The lawyer for Lev Parnas, a Rudy Giuliani associate, claims there is a recording of President Trump saying former Ukraine Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch should be fired, the Daily Beast reports.

The latest: Parnas said on Friday that he has turned the recording over to the House Intelligence Committee, per the New York Times — as Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) led House Democrats in laying out the case for impeaching Trump before the Senate.

What they're saying: Parnas' lawyer Joseph Bondy told The Daily Beast that Parnas' former business partner, Igor Fruman, recorded the exchange. The two men were arrested in October on campaign finance charges. Bondy said the recording “is of high materiality to the impeachment inquiry," per the Times.

  • White House spokesperson Stephanie Grisham: "Every president in our history has had the right to place people who support his agenda and his policies within his administration."
  • Bondy: "Last year, before he was arrested, Mr. Parnas personally heard a recording of his April 30, 2018, dinner with the president and others, made by Mr. Fruman, at which the subject of Ambassador Yovanovitch was discussed. We have hoped that, to the extent this recording still existed, it would be released to Congress for use in the impeachment trial.” 
  • Fruman's lawyer could not be reached for comment by Axios, but he told the Daily Beast they are not at liberty to discuss the matter.

Worth noting: ABC News originally reported on Friday it reviewed the recording, which Axios has neither obtained nor reviewed.

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